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Habersham Athletics: How are we representing Christ?

Habersham Basketball Teams News

January 20-27, 2014

JV & Varsity Patriots’ Team

We played two games and I thought that our team really competed six out of eight quarters.  On Thursday night we played Bible Baptist Academy.  Traditionally strong in basketball, Bible has athletes on their team that have the ability to give us problems especially on the defensive end of the court.  I thought our team competed well throughout the game and threw different defenses at them to keep them off balanced and it worked.  We only gave up 41 points on the night and to a good offensive team like Bible that is great defense. 

On Friday we played our second home game of the season.  We played for the first time at the National Guard Armory on Seawright Drive.   It is a great facility, but I do not think the court has been waxed since I played there twenty-five years ago.  We saw a lot of slipping on both ends of the court and we did not wake up as a team until the second half.  We played two great quarters with energy, effort, and enthusiasm, but as we know you can’t win games only playing a half.  It takes the entire game of playing with intensity, playing together, with a personal and team mission.  At the end we found ourselves down by six late in the game.  If we would have taken care of business early, we would have been in great shape to end the game differently. 

I am very proud of our effort and attitude.  We ran into some adversity at Bible Baptist and our players handled it with character.   With every game, we are growing into the program that we want to become.  A constant pursuit of excellence on and off the court is what our teams are after.  Enjoy the journey.

JV Lady Patriots’ Team

Played one game during the week at Bible Baptist.  It was a great game with both teams competing hard for the victory.  The girls have been so close this season and worked hard for this kind of moment.  They played great defense with a 2-3 zone that stifled Bible Baptist.  They were communicating the entire time on the defensive end- which is a sign of a great program.  An old coach once told me if you walk into a gym and the opposing team is quiet, they are scared.  You can figure something out about the team in the warm-ups.  If they are not competing in warm-ups, how will they compete during the game? 

Our girls were flying all over the court.  Getting steals and working hard to convert.  We rebounded, we defended, passed, scored, and won.  It was a great night for the girls’ program beating such a great program as Bible Baptist.  I am thrilled with the progress they have made during this season and feel that all of our programs are after the same thing- Excellence.  Great job girls!

6th Grade Patriots’ Team

Three big games this past week against probably the best three in the league- Calvary, St Petes, and Pinewood.  Our boys competed every night against these giants and did some great things in the process.  On Tuesday night against Pinewood, we continually broke their press and took the ball to the rim.  Their size hurt us in the end and the game was decided on a few free throws in the fourth quarter.

On Thursday, they competed with a great St Petes team.  After the game was over we heard from several of the parents of the St Petes team that we were the best defensive team they had seen all year.  We got after them and forced them into many turnovers.  I was very happy with that game and the way we performed.

On Saturday, the task did not get easier.  Calvary, which is a basketball powerhouse, played us.  Again, defensively we did well forcing numerous turnovers and errant plays, but in the end their size and athleticism was too much.  We struggle with teams that have size and that can stay in front of our guards,  Calvary has that mix that tends to give us problems.

I was very proud of our boys 6th grade team as they played some great programs, but competed the entire week.  It was a great week for our team.  Coach Jeff Welch is doing a great job with the team and I appreciate all his willingness to help build the program at Habersham.

5th Grade Patriots’ Team

Two tough games were on the schedule last week.  SCDS and Calvary were the opponents for the week.  SCDS was on Thursday night.  It was a very tough game against a big and well coached team.  Coach Thompson had our team prepared and ready to play.  The first half we played well on both ends of the court, but the second half their size began to wear on us.  Our boys played hard throughout and did many things that were great this game, but came up a little short on the score board.   

The second game against Calvary was a great game.  I thought our players played with desire, dedication, and love for one another that was witnessed by everyone. I spoke to Casey Ricks after the game and he said “I love the scrappiness of this team. They play so hard and are so exciting to watch.”  I can’t agree with Casey more.  They play an outstanding brand of basketball and they play it the right way for the right reasons.  Coach Thompson is a tremendous coach and has done an outstanding job with this group and the sixth grade group along with Coach Welch.  

5th Grade Lady Patriots’ Team- WEST CAMPUS

Coach Burnsed has the train rolling on.  Veritas and Hancock tried to stop the train, but the train kept on rolling.  This team went 2-0 for the week and beat two pretty good teams doing it.  On Thursday night Veritas gave a great effort, but our SIZE, yes I said our SIZE wore them out.  We have two posts that have size and can score on anyone in the league.  They also defend well and make it tough on the opposing team.  They held Veritas to 4 points the entire game.  That is unbelievable defense.  Then on Saturday they almost did the same thing holding Hancock to a measly 12 points the entire game.  

This team is motivated, athletic, and on a winning streak that we are so very proud of.  Coach Burnsed does an outstanding job teaching and leading this team.  I think he makes them watch some of his old high school films before they go out and play, because they play with the same kind of intensity that Coach played with in high school.  Great Job girls, keep up the great work.

 5th Grade Lady Patriots’ Team- GOULD CAMPUS

The girls played two formidable opponents in Calvary and SCDS.  Calvary is the most athletic and best coached team in the 5th grade girls division.  They play hard, are driven, and execute.  Our girls did great against them and their size and were able to put up six points on the board on Monday night.  That is absolutely great.   Calvary is huge and to get shots off against their defense and make them is a task, but we did it.  We played hard and improved.  For us playing against Calvary really helps our program because it makes us better.  For that reason alone we would love to play them more.

SCDS is also a great team in the fifth grade girls division.  Our girls held a lead for the first ten minutes of the game.  Then some injuries happened to a couple of our guards and we relinquished the lead.  With the injuries all of the players had to play several more minutes and we had some tired players at the end of the game.  This team is improving each game and getting better every week of the season.  Coach Brown is doing a great job and we really appreciate her help and involvement with this team. 


Three more opponents went down this week. Bible Baptist, Veritas, and Hancock were schools that our basketball teams beat this week.  We may have several teams, but we are ONE.  All of our teams are one big family that have the same goal in mind and winning is not it.  Winning is too little of a thing.  Winning is the by-product of what we are building.  We are after excellence on the court in the way we play.  We don’t play against these programs, we play against the game itself.  All of our coaches are doing a great job, and all of our teams are competing at a very high level.   We are blessed to be a part of such a great family. The sacrifices and commitment that we show now will ripple in years to come.  Habersham Patriot and Lady Patriot Basketball are here to stay.

This is NOT the newsletter for next week.  This is only the game summaries for the week passed. The newsletter will be coming later today.

God Bless,

Coach O’Neal

Stay tuned next week for a summary of the multi-campus spelling bee.








  1. Barbara Evans says:

    Congratulations to all!!!!

  2. Margaret L. says:

    good job and keep up the hard work…. it will pay off 🙂

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